Foods negatively affect nearly everybody at some point in their lives. However, very few people have food allergies. Food allergies affect about 1 to 3% of the population with children being more likely to be affected than adults. What is considered a food intolerance is more often interpreted as a food allergy. Just because you don’t like or shouldn’t eat a particular food doesn’t mean that you are actually allergic to it.
When you are physically allergic to a food, you could face some serious – and potentially life-threatening – symptoms when you eat that food such as:
- Itching in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Trouble breathing
The foods that people are most commonly allergic to include:
- Cow’s Milk
- Seafood (Shrimp)
The allergy occurs when the immune system misfires and mistakenly treats the food item as a dangerous item like a virus or a bacteria and builds up antibodies to fight it off. Unfortunately there is no special medicine to treat a food allergy.
Antihistamines, over the counter or prescription remedies, won’t do the trick. Even shots may not fix the problem.
The truth is the best thing to do is to learn to read labels. Your best defense is abstinence. Steer clear of the food, or foods, that you are allergic to. This will keep you feeling your best. In truth, it’s the wisest and the safest course for you and those you love who are also food allergic. (Yes, food allergies like so many other medical conditions tend to run in families.)
With so many health-conscious folks and food-intolerant and/or nutritionally knowledgeable types, there are wonderful products on the market to choose from such as peanut-free nut butters, dairy-free “ice” creams, wheat-free cookies and a variety of other products so you may not even miss the ingredients anyway.